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ERIC Number: EJ1175673
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1927-2677
Development of a Uniform Approach to Writing and Grading of Laboratory Reports in Horticultural Science Courses
Anderson, Neil O.; Hoover, Emily; Longo, Bernadette; Ross, Marjorie
Journal of Curriculum and Teaching, v7 n1 p125-134 2018
Written scientific communication, such as laboratory reports, are important components of undergraduate education within the sciences. Since most Horticultural Science majors offer lecture- and lab-based courses, students often write laboratory reports for many courses across the curriculum and these reports comprise a large percentage of the writing assignments in these classes. Instructors link learning objectives with laboratory reports to reinforce course content. Students have noted inconsistencies across horticulture courses in requirements for laboratory report writing, which often leads to confusion. Thus, development of a grading rubric would improve the continuity of expectations of laboratory report writing and grading within a Horticultural Science curriculum for instructors teaching courses requiring laboratory reports. When focusing just on laboratory writing in the curriculum, surveys and interviews indicated that a disconnect exists between what instructors expect of their students and what the stated learning outcomes were for their courses. Student's ability to analyze results was seen as both a strength and weakness, as reported from faculty responses. In lower division courses, analyzing results from student's experiments was a weakness while in upper division courses faculty responses were mixed as to whether students had the skills to sufficiently analyze results from their experiments. When a grading rubric was trialed, students indicated that use of the same rubric in other Horticultural Science courses would demystify the process of conducting research and communicating it effectively in laboratory reports. For this work to expand, one or more standard rubrics need to be developed for use by Horticultural Science courses within an institution to enhance our students' abilities to become competent writers in this form of scientific communication. A baseline rubric for courses at the 3000 level was developed to serve as a template to further this process.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A